April is Autism Awareness Month!

Facts about Autism

  • Autism spectrum Disorder also known as ASD is a developmental disability that can cause social, communication, and behavioral challenges.
  1. Autism now affects approximately 1 in 68 children.
  2. Boys are nearly five times more likely to have autism, about 1 in 42.
  3. There is no cure, however with early intervention symptoms can greatly improve.
  4. Autism is one of the fastest growing developmental disorders.

In helping to raise awareness we would like to feature some of the great resources we have available at McLure Education Library!

100 Ideas for Supporting Pupils on the Autistic Spectrum

100 ideas  http://library.ua.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=2090010


Developing College Skills in Students with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome

Developing college skills  http://library.ua.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=3400574


The New Social Story Book

social   http://library.ua.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1673177


The Social Skills Picture Book

picture   http://library.ua.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1666226

Ian’s Walk

ian    http://library.ua.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1063270

Carly’s Voice

carly    http://library.ua.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=3913348


Please check out our Curriculum Materials area for sensory manipulatives!


The Mystery Box

The mystery box    http://library.ua.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1852881

Gears Galore



 Coming Soon!!!!!

Sensory Balls

sensory ballshttp://library.ua.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=4438677


For additional resources please visit: https://autism-clinic.ua.edu


Special thanks to The University of Alabama Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic.  I cannot say enough wonderful things about this clinic and the services they provide.


Content created by:  Kristy Justice






Celebrating Valentine’s Day

By Kristy Justice, Library Assistant, McLure Education Library

How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day in your classroom?

Children learn about love starting at an early age, take this as a perfect opportunity to teach your class about love, kindness, and compassion.
Listed below are a few ideas handpicked by McLure Education Library staff.

Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentine

Does Junie B. really have to give that meanie ol’ Jim a valentime?  Her mother informed her that she was to include everyone in the class. Does Junie B. get a Valentine’s Day surprise?  This funny, chapter book series written by Barbara Park is suggested for ages 5-8.  This book is available in our school library!

Snowy Valentine
snowy valentine

This delightful story takes place on a cold, snowy Valentine’s Day.  Jasper the bunny is desperately searching for the perfect gift to show his wife just how much he loves her.  Feeling discouraged and having no luck finding something special, a friend helps him realize that he has already created the perfect Valentine’s Day present.  Written by David Petersen, this heartwarming story is recommended for children ages 3-6.

Classroom Activities

stemmathcolorword searchheart

Valentine’s Day Stem – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/69172544255158019/                                                                                         Valentine’s Day Math Worksheets- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/69172544255152169/
Valentine’s Day Color by Number- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/69172544255157691/
Valentine’s Day Word Search- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/69172544255157816/
Pumping Heart Model is located in the Curriculum Materials section at McLure Education Library – http://library.ua.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=3520948
Classroom Crafts


Heart Shaped Animals-https://www.pinterest.com/pin/Abzs4buSYCeL64rJfGsoG80wH2SW5PlG9iOGb3AtLk0R7gbyKSFNk1c/
Maze Printable-https://www.pinterest.com/pin/69172544255163863/
Valentine Bag Bear/Bunny- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/69172544255169053/




Stand Straight Ella Kate!



“Most tall tales are made up.

But my tale is true.
I was a giant—a real life giant”

Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise are an outstanding duo in their creation of picture books in the non-fiction genre for children. Stand Straight Ella Kate is a large format picture book based on the true life story of Ella Ewing, who suffered from gigantism. This lovely book is narrated by Ella herself and is featured by delightful illustrations which invoke curiosity among school age children. Some would even get a kick out of Ella being taller than the tallest basketball players in the NBA! Young readers will be introduced to Ella’s struggles with her height difference, but they will also discover, with Ella herself, self-confidence in her ability able to achieve goals that she never thought she could achieve.

The book starts off from the very beginning of Ella Ewing’s life. She was born in 1872 to a farmer and his wife. She was like any other baby at first, tiny and helpless against the world. Until she started growing, by thirteen she was nearly six feet tall, towering over her peers and adults alike. During a Fourth of July celebration, she was ridiculed and teased  as she stood before a crowd to recite the Gettysburg Address. Despite the cruel treatment, Ella never let such words break her spirit, and eventually she decided to use her own differences to her own advantage. She agreed to show off her exaggerated height of eight feet and four inches to a museum, and she found herself traveling with circuses across America—gaining fame and fortune. When she finally returned home, after years of touring, she was able to pay off her parent’s debt to the bank and built her own home, complete with over-sized windows and doors. In her spare time, Ella enjoyed telling friends and family all about the sights and experiences that she encountered on the road. If she had stayed locked away because of her difference, she would have never had the confidence to become a successful and financially stable woman.

Stand Straight Ella Kate would be a great to read out loud to kindergarten through third grade classrooms. This book emphasizes not only on the acceptance of the differences in others, but also the acceptance and confidence in oneself. Here are a few handpicked Pinterest activity ideas and discussion topics for a future classroom! Please leave comments for other ideas you think would go great with this book!






Installation Art

By Amanda Alexander , Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library


Installation art usually describes three-dimensional works of art that are made to change the way that people see a certain area, and can be either temporary or permanent.  Christo and Jeanne-Claude are one of the most famous examples of environmental installation artists who were responsible for The Gates, a 23-mile long group of “gates” created out of saffron colored nylon fabric hung from steel bases.  For further study, Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond By Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, can be found in the School Library in the basement of McLure.  Installation art has also been showcased in the news lately, specifically the Tower of London poppies and the balloons in Berlin that marked the 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.


poppies-8 1412296557089_wps_22_Tower_of_London_Poppies_f

In London, an installation titled the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red showcases 888,246 ceramic poppies representing each life lost to WWI in service of the British crown.  The installation has drawn millions of spectators who view the sight as a monument to the tragedy of war.  However, the memorial has also drawn its fair share of criticism from those who view that installation as a glorification of war and have counteracted by creating white poppies as a symbol of peace.


berlin-wall-fall-25th-anniversary 01_LICHTGRENZE_Brandenburger_Tor__c__Kulturprojekte_Berlin_WHITEvoid_Christopher_Bauder__Foto_Daniel_Bueche

In Berlin, a temporary wall was made to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the wall’s collapse.  The installation symbolizing the wall was constructed out of 8,000 illuminated balloons that were released into the air on November 9th to the notes of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  The piece is one of many celebratory events that will take place in Berlin this year.



For those of you interested in viewing an installation art piece closer to home, Birmingham features an installation titled LightRails, which is located downtown in Railroad Park.  The attraction is a permanent display consisting of a system of computerized LED lights installed in an old art deco railroad underpass.  Birmingham commissioned Texas-based artist Bill FitzGibbons to create the piece in order to bring pedestrian traffic to an area that had become dark and neglected.  It is an open and inviting display of light and color used to reinvigorate a previously unused and forgotten space, making pedestrians feel safe and showcasing a brilliant work of art.

Recent Additions to the McLure Library Collection, March 2012

 These titles are some recent additions to the McLure Library.  Rebecca Tischler, SLIS Graduate Assistant has written these reviews.  These books will be on the New Book shelf in the Current Periodicals Room, and then will go to the regular book stacks at the end of March.

Through the Schoolhouse Door

Through the Schoolhouse Door, Paddy Bowman and Lynne Hamer, editors. Utah State University Press, 2011. Education Library: LB1583.8 .T47 2011

Classrooms can be some of the most diverse places in the United Sates with so many cultures and ethnicities that are thrown together.  For years, folklorists and educators have been trying to sustain learning beyond the school classrooms as well as better connect the students to their communities by expanding the curriculum through engagement with local knowledge and informal cultural arts.  This volume offers a collection of experiences from school programs and the analysis of an expert group of folklorists and educators sharing ideas and experiences on how to make this happen.  A must read for any future teacher or educator.



Enhancing Learning Through college Employment

Enhancing Student Learning through College Employment, Brett Perozzi, editor. Association of College Unions International, 2009. Education Library: LB3611 .E54 2009

College degrees are more important than ever, but unfortunately, they are also more expensive than ever.  More and more students have found that they need to have a job in order to go to college.  Most critics believe that this detracts from the college learning process, but this book provides examples of how working during college can enrich the undergraduate experience.  A student’s job can become part of the learning experience if handled right.  For teachers, it also offers helpful tips on the assessment of student learning in both the design of the student employment experience and in the evaluation of its end results.



Cyberbullying Prevention and Rsponse

Cyberbullying Prevention and Response: Expert Perspectives, Justin W. Patchin and Sameer Hinduja. Routledge, 2012. Education Library: LB3013.3 .C94 2012

For those who find, or will find themselves dealing with children, this book is an important resource.  As the incidence and severity of cyberbullying has risen in the past few years, the experts gathered to try and figure out how to diffuse these types of situations.  This book is a collection of essays from experts around the country offering an explanation of the concept of cyberbullying as well as what can be meaningfully done about it.  This exploration of the critical issues surrounding cyberbullying is written in an accessible manner even though it is informed by research.




Professors Behaving Badly

Professors Behaving Badly: Faculty Misconduct in Graduate Education, John M. Braxton, Eve Proper, and Alan E. Bayer. The John Hopkins University Press, 2011. Education Library: LB1778 .B74 2011

For those who have had experience with a difficult faculty member (everyone), they’ll find this book imminently relatable.  This book discusses examples of faculty misconduct (Ch.1, which contains the anecdotal examples the authors gathered), and how to avoid them. Using data collected through faculty surveys, the authors describe behaviors associated with graduate teaching which are considered inappropriate and in violation of good teaching practices, as well as behavior norms that should be followed.

African American Women Teachers

Teacher Biographies – African American



Memories of a Georgia Teacher

Memories of a Georgia Teacher

Martha Mizell Puckett

Athens : University of Georgia Press, c2002

Education Library   LA 2317 .P83 2002

Memories of a Georgia Teacher chronicles the personal and professional life of a principled, resourceful, and deeply religious woman whose career began at a time when state support for primary education was all but nonexistent. Martha Mizell started teaching in 1913 in a one-room, one-teacher school near the Okefenokee Swamp in southeast Georgia. At the time she was barely fifteen, and her formal schooling amounted to seven years.

Martha Mizell Puckett’s career paralleled the transformation of small, informal community school systems into consolidated, government supported, bureaucratic structures. Through Puckett’s eyes our own are opened–to hard times, certainly, but also to a time of notable closeness and involvement between schools and their communities.

Hands of a Teacher

Hands of a Teacher: The Alfreda Drummond Story.  Alfreda Drummond.

Yorktown, VA : Publishing Connections, 1997

Education Library:  LA2317.D622 A3 1997

Hands of A Teacher: The Alfreda Drummond Story captures the triumphant spirit of a young girl determined to make her childhood dream of becoming a teacher a reality. Beginning with her early years as sharecropper’s daughter, this heartwarming story traces Alfreda Drummond’s 30+ year struggle through text and more than 60 black and white photographs.

Hints on Teaching

Reminiscences on School Life and Hints on Teaching

Reminiscences of school life and hints on teaching / Fanny Jackson Coppin ; introduction by Shelley P. Haley.

New York:  G.K. Hall & Co. An imprint of Simon & Schuster Mcmillan, 1995.

LD7501.P495 C67 1995

This reprint of the 1913 edition, offers a brief summary of her life, and philosophy of teaching.  She was born a slave, in 1837. She worked and furthered her education at the Rhode Island Normal School and graduated from Oberlin College. She went on to become a teacher and principal at the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 1866 to 1901.

Marva Collins Way

Marva Collin’s Way

Marva Collins and Civia Tamarkin

Los Angeles : J.P. Tarcher ; Boston : Distributed by Houghton Mifflin, c1982

Education Library  LA2317.C2 A35 1982

This book vividly reflects on Mrs. Collins’ love of teaching, her family, and of her students. It describes her stamina and determination in getting kids to believe in themselves and to learn. This is not a how to book, but an inspiring insight of one person and how she did not give up when the odds were against her. Her philosophy is unabashedly Christian; her daily lessons with students show that she uses a multicultural approach which treats the Bible as one Great Book among many. In her classrooms Marva Collins organizes her lessons and her moral principals around a core of Emersonian self-reliance, specifically Getting Out of the Ghetto. While some find her writing style repetitive, she certainly has the knack to inspire.

A Class of Their Own

A class of their own : Black teachers in the segregated South / Adam Fairclough

LC2802.S9 F35 2007

Civil rights historian Adam Fairclough chronicles the odyssey of black teachers in the South from emancipation in 1865 to integration one hundred years later. No book until now has provided us with the full story of what African American teachers tried, achieved, and failed to do in educating the Southern black population over this critical century. Teachers were part of, but also apart from, the larger black population. Often ignored, and occasionally lambasted, by both whites and blacks, teachers were tireless foot soldiers in the long civil rights struggle.

The Dreamkeepers

The dreamkeepers: successful teachers of African American children /

Gloria Ladson-Billings.

San Francisco : Jossey-Bass Publishers, c1997

Education Library: LC2717 .L33 2009

The author concentrates on teachers who have been successful at helping African-American children to reach high levels of proficiency by working with the individual strengths of each student and maintaining a rigorous environment in the classroom. Appendices list the specific methodologies these successful educators employ, the historical context of culturally relevant teaching and a list of discussion questions for students and practitioners.

School Improvement

Engaging the Disengaged: How Schools Can Help Struggling Students Succeed (Corwin Press) by Dr. Lois Brown Easton Dr. Easton directs the reader to the moral imperative of educating all students, specifically those students needing the most help. They are the “dis” kids: disinterested, disappointed, disenchanted, discredited, disenfranchised. This book describes practices and changes that educators have made to the culture of schools to better serve all learners, especially those who are disengaged. Easton’s book, Engaging the Disengaged, is an outstanding contribution with a potential to influence educational practices.


Engaging the disengaged : how schools can help struggling students succeed / Lois Brown Easton.  Thousand Oaks, CA : Corwin Press, c2008.   Education Library:  LB2822.82  .E27 2008

Summer Reading

Most of us have an indelible experience of the first school where we had our first professional position. Ask me  (Helga) about Chanhassen Elementary School in Chanhassen, Minnesota, a Minneapolis suburb. The books I am introducing in this blog tell the stories of first year teachers’ experiences. All have humor in them, with a touch of sadness in some stories. Given the fact that these have been written over the past 10 years, political comments are rampant, but that’s part of the charm.

Here are a few ‘first year teacher’ experiences from the McLure Education Library’s main collection, compiled by Helga Visscher:

Educating Esme:Diary of a Teacher’s First Year. Esme Raji Codell. Algonquin books of Chapel Hill, 2001.  LB 2844.1 N4 C63 1999.

Esme Codell, Ms Esme, is a 24 year old in her first year of teaching at a new public school in Chicago. She meets the challenges of teaching troubled inner city children with the enthusiasm of youth. She learns to deal with other teachers who lack her energy and imagination, and motivate students in her off-the wall methods. She calls math class ‘puzzler time,’ and social studies ‘time travel and world exploring.’ The diary style of this book offers humorous and poignant scenes.



Ms Moffett’s first year : becoming a teacher in America.  Abby Goodnough. New York: Public Affairs, 2004.  LC 5133.N4 G66 2004.

This book began as a series of articles in the New York TImes. Donna Moffet, a 45 year old legal secretary changed her career to teaching in a program seeking ‘talented professionals’ from other careers to teach in New York public schools. The author comments that “only the ‘pathologically idealistic’ had any desire to teach in these schools. The third person description of events is not as entertaining as a personal diary, but a lot of background information about the school, and Ms Moffett’s experiences improve the understanding of the teacher’s motivation.


My Freshman year: what a professor learned by becoming a student. Rebekah Nathan. Cornell University Press. 2005.   LB3605 .N34 2005

Cathy Small, an anthropologist writing under the pen name of Rebekah Nathan goes undercover as an undergraduate student at Northern Arizona University. Her plan is to figure out why students choose to just get by with minimal work. She learns that students actually have a desire to be challenged. Good reading for teachers and students trying to cope with a large university.



The great expectations school: a rookie year in the new blackboard jungle, a memoir. Dan Brown. Arcade Publishing, 2007.  LB2844.1 N4 B775 2007.

Dan Brown describes his experiences with humor, and haunting descriptions of tragic situations. Part of the book is a tirade agaisnt the system, and part of it is a story of his personal growth and gaining maturity to deal with the unfairness of life’s situations. His experiences at P.S. 85 in the Bronx, New York City, where in his first year experience has a 4th grade classroom that is the school’s informal dumping ground.

Relentless pursuit: a year in the trenches with Teach for America. Donna Foote. Alfred A. Knopf. 2008. LC 5133 .L67 F66 2008

Another journalist describes the Teach for America Program in the poor districts of Los Angeles.  Foote’s comment,’Teaching in a low-income school right out of college is a shock to the system,’ is true for all young teachers, not just those in the TFA program. The four idealistic teachers chronicled in this book offer a look at classroom experiences in LA.